Health care providers and systems play an important role in preventing suicides. Yet most health care providers do not ask people about their thoughts of suicide, and most systems are not prepared to care for people at risk of suicide. As a result, far too many people at risk are undetected and unsupported.
To address these gaps, EDC, through the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC), provides leadership and support for Zero Suicide. Launched by the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, Zero Suicide is a key concept of the 2012 National Strategy for Suicide Prevention. Its systematic approach to quality improvement and patient safety includes enhanced screening, assessment, and engagement; training for all staff; treatment that targets suicidal thoughts and behaviors; and a commitment to collecting data and adhering to Zero Suicide.
EDC’s activities to advance Zero Suicide include the following:
- Developed and continue to expand the Zero Suicide Toolkit that supports health and behavioral health care leaders and leadership teams in implementing Zero Suicide
- Moderate a robust listserv that shares resources and best practices with providers
- Publish the Outcome Stories of a diverse array of health care settings that have adopted Zero Suicide
- Designed and provide a library of resources to support the launch and implementation of Zero Suicide, including specific adaptations for Indian Country
Systems that have used the Zero Suicide approach have seen 65–80 percent reductions in suicide for those in their care.